He heard water running in the shower. Now what? He glanced around the room, his gaze stopping at her bedside table. Curiosity made him investigate. A raggedy stuffed doll with red stringy hair sat plopped against the lamp. Cell phone charger. A picture frame.
Who did she want to see when morning dawned? Who was the last person on her mind when she turned out the light at night?
He picked up the frame and stared at a picture of the three of them. Dane, Steven and Sage, at her college graduation. He smiled. Humbled, yet gratified, at the same time. She pictured them the same way he did.
“Why should I leave my house?” Her quiet words from behind surprised him.
He fumbled with the picture frame and settled it back on the table. He hadn’t heard the door open or the water stop. He turned around, gulped.
Dane’s shoulder length hair framed her face and rosy cheeks shimmered with goodness. Wearing jeans and a turquoise shirt that hugged her figure, she reminded him about what was good in life. Wholesome, outdoorsy.
It made him think about campfires and roasting marshmallows, about cooler temperatures and football games, about the spectacular colors and beauty of fall. How leaves fall from the sky to make room for new green buds in the spring. Seasons. And how life changed. How she’d grown from a pesky kid into a beautiful woman.
Dane made him forget the ugliness in the world.
But only for a minute.